Apple has complied with Russian demands to show the annexed Crimean peninsula as part of Russian territory on its apps.
Russian forces annexed Crimea from Ukraine in March 2014, drawing international condemnation.
The region, which has a Russian-speaking majority, is now shown as Russian territory on Apple Maps and its Weather app, when viewed from Russia.
But the apps do not show it as part of any country when viewed elsewhere.
It appears to be a limit based on what App Store a user has chosen (Russian in this case) and this is yet another appalling case of Apple bending over backwards to please an authoritarian regime.
Google, which also produces a popular Maps app, also shows Crimea as belonging to Russia when viewed from the country. The changes happened in March.
Apple is, however, not alone.
Christian Davies, reporting for The Guardian:
The undercover reporter, Katarzyna Pruszkiewicz, spent six months this year working at Cat@Net, which describes itself as an “ePR agency comprising specialists who build a positive image of companies, private individuals and public institutions – mostly in social media.”.
Pruszkiewicz’s first task when she joined the company was to set up a social media avatar for sharing “social and political content” with the aim of attracting 500 followers.
“The aim is to build credibility with people from both sides of the political divide. Once you have won someone’s trust by reflecting their own views back at them, you are in a position to influence them,” said Wojciech Cieśla, who oversaw the investigation in collaboration with Investigate Europe, a consortium of European investigative reporters.
Angela Moon, reporting for Reuters:
Alphabet Inc’s Google has suspended business with Huawei that requires the transfer of hardware, software and technical services except those publicly available via open source licensing, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Sunday, in a blow to the Chinese technology company that the U.S. government has sought to blacklist around the world.
Holders of current Huawei smartphones with Google apps, however, will continue to be able to use and download app updates provided by Google, a Google spokesperson said, confirming earlier reporting by Reuters […]
Chipmakers including Intel Corp, Qualcomm Inc, Xilinx Inc and Broadcom Inc have told their employees they will not supply critical software and components to Huawei until further notice […]
This could spiral out of control very easily.
Mark Gurman, for Bloomberg:
In late November, Trump told the Wall Street Journal he might impose tariffs on mobile phones and laptops, and said consumers “could stand” a 10% increase in prices “very easily” […]
I’m sure that “said consumers” completely agree with Trump.
A $1,249 iPhone XS Max with 256 gigabytes of storage has $453 worth of parts, according to TechInsights. A 25% levy on that would be $113, raising the purchase price by about 9%. Apple’s other models, the iPhone XS and the iPhone XR, could face a similar increase, according to estimates. In a recent note to investors, Morgan Stanley estimated that a $999 iPhone XS would cost $160 more. JPMorgan analysts forecast a 14% price increase […]
If Apple passes the whole tariff cost to U.S. consumers, demand could drop by 10% to 40%, Cowen’s Sankar estimated on Tuesday. That, in turn, may slice earnings per share by 1% to 4% in fiscal 2020, the analyst said.
So, Apple could “very easily” lose between 10% and 40% in new iPhone sales. I guess that means that the free 5 GB iCloud tier isn’t going up in size anytime soon.
Josh Gabbatiss, for The Independent:
Poland is Europe’s smog capital, home to 33 of Europe’s 50 most polluted cities. As delegates gathered in Katowice last week, data collected by the European Environment Agency revealed it was the second most polluted city on the continent. Its levels of particulate matter were twice as high as those deemed safe by the World Health Organisation.
Considering the toxic air, the mounting pressure to drop coal altogether and the dire climate warnings, it seems remarkable that Polish politicians are gripping on to fossil fuel with such tenacity.
What’s even more frightening is that normal people — not politicians — want us to use coal, because that’s what they heard our beloved government say is good for us (insert facepalm emoji here). I have personally seen and heard their arguments. Unbelievable.
Marc Santora, for The New York Times:
Poland’s government carried out a sweeping purge of the Supreme Court on Tuesday night, eroding the judiciary’s independence, escalating a confrontation with the European Union over the rule of law and further dividing this nation. Tens of thousands took to the streets in protest.
Poland was once a beacon for countries struggling to escape the yoke of the Soviet Union and embrace Western democracy. But it is now in league with neighboring nations, like Hungary, whose leaders have turned to authoritarian means to tighten their grip on power, presenting a grave challenge to a European Union already grappling with nationalist, populist and anti-immigrant movements.
The forced retirements of up to 27 of 72 Supreme Court justices, including the top judge, and the creation of a judicial disciplinary chamber were the latest in a series of steps by Poland’s right-wing Law and Justice Party to take over the justice system.
We’re fucked. I assume they’re going to eradicate our Constitution next.
Adam Easton, for the BBC, quoting Renata Kim, a journalist for the Polish edition of Newsweek:
“I think it’s too early for an openly gay politician to become an important figure in politics,” she argues.
“We are a very conservative society. People are not ready to accept such a person as their president or prime minister,” she adds.
I try to avoid following politics because most politicians in Poland are in it for the money and their own interests. Robert Biedroń is the only politician that I know of, who seems to be a genuinely good person. I don’t care if he’s an atheist, satanist, gay, uses an Android device, or doesn’t like Star Wars — he appears to be actually trying to bring good to the people that elected him. And that’s enough for me — he’ll get my vote.
Joanna Berendt, writing for the New York Times:
Defying an order from the European Union’s highest court, the Polish government said on Monday that it would continue logging in Bialowieza Forest, the last primeval forest in Europe and a habitat for hundreds of bison.
The decision is the latest challenge by Poland to the legal authority of the European Union, which Poland joined in 2004, and could result in financial penalties. The arch-conservative and nationalist government that took power in Poland in 2015 has been chastised by the authorities in Brussels; last week, it was formally warned that its efforts to consolidate power over the judiciary in Poland threatened the rule of law.
The Bialowieza Forest, a Unesco World Heritage site, is a relic of ancient woodlands in the middle of the European lowlands, at the border of Poland and Belarus.
Poland is so fucked right now. Soon, the EU will impose sanctions our country. Who will pay? Us of course, not the government, which has already set us back at least a decade. Another decade.
Rick Lyman, writing for the New York Times:
An enraged Jaroslaw Kaczynski — the former president’s twin brother and, as leader of Law and Justice, the most powerful political figure in Poland — seized the lectern and fired back: “Do not wipe your traitorous mugs with the name of my late brother. You are scoundrels.”
Law and Justice has long maintained that the 2010 crash was an assassination, perhaps involving Russia and members of the political opposition.
“You murdered him,” Mr. Kaczynski shouted.
Ewa Kopacz, the prime minister under the previous center-right government, declared herself flabbergasted. “This man is crazy with hate,” she said of Mr. Kaczynski. “He cannot control his emotions.”
When Trump won, I thought USA was worse off than Poland.
I was wrong.